Macaulay Remembered Again


In doing some research for my paper on “Classical Liberalism, Morality, and Poverty” I re-read Thomas Babington Macaulay’s brilliant refutation of Tory paternalism, “Southey’s Colloquies on Society.” (If you want to read a definitive smackdown refutation, I recommend this as probably the best I’ve ever read.) I asked my friend Don Boudreaux for his ideas on Macaulay (I know Don’s a great Macaulay fan) and he mentioned that Walter Olson, another old friend, had written a great appreciation of Macaulay. A quick google search and there it was, a tribute both to Macaulay’s genius and to Olson’s exquisite command of the English language: “Confessions of a Macaulay Fan: The great liberal historian appreciated on his bicentenary.” Anyone interested in the work of one of the greatest historians and the greatest champions of liberty who ever lived should start with Wally’s essay. Enjoy!

(Macaulay’s entire The History of England from the Accession of James the Second can be downloaded as a PDF facsimile from Google Books. Or you can buy it here from Amazon.)

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